Long-Term Goals

March 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Addiction, Daily Habits, Goals

Focus on the long run.

It has been said that most people give up what they want in the long run for what they want in the short run. Sad, but true. A teen client says he wants to feel relaxed and fit in. So, he smokes cigarettes. His goal for the future? He wants to be healthy and physically fit.


Another client comes to family therapy to improve the family relationships. He doesn’t see a problem with his workaholism–working 60 to 80 hours every week. His wife and children have a BIG problem with it.

The question often arises, how do you train yourself to focus on long-term goals? For most of us, it comes through trial and error. We have some success in a long-term goal, realize its importance, so take that leap of faith to do it again and again.

Start small.

Take one small goal. Maybe it’s adding pure water to your daily routine and excluding drinks that either add unnecessary calories or do not contribute to your overall good health.

Reward yourself!

If you can keep your promise to yourself for a whole week, give yourself a positive reinforcement for sticking to your goal. Be sure to give yourself a reward that isn’t self-destructive. Think in terms of small pleasures–a trip to a favorite park, a drive through an area that you love, a walk through your favorite mall, etc.

Journal your progress.

Nothing has been more rewarding to me than to meaasure my progress. This doesn’t need to be difficult. Sometimes a simple check mark on your calendar is enough.

Tell someone else.

When you tell your friend or spouse or sibling about your progress, you’ve just added another important component of success–accountability. For nearly twenty years I had an early morning walking partner. This was very motivating to me to meet with my friend every morning (often before dawn) and walk for an hour. Try it!

Good luck in keeping your goals!

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